Thursday, December 28, 2023

The 31 best horror books of 2023

Neil McRobert is a writer, researcher and podcaster, with a specialism in horror and other darkly speculative topics; he is the host and producer of the Talking Scared podcast.

For Esquire he tagged thirty-one of the best horror books of 2023, including:
What Kind of Mother, by Clay McLeod Chapman

Clay McLeod Chapman made our best horror list in 2022 with Ghost Eaters, and now he’s back again with an even more insane premise than that book’s haunted mushrooms. In What Kind of Mother, Chapman revisits the Chesapeake inlets of his youth for a story that marries esoteric haunting with down-home Southern Gothic. The world of crab fisherman and parking lot palm readers may be ever-so Americana, but when a grieving father returns to town in a desperate search for his vanished son, the Bruce Springsteen song dissolves into screaming psychedelia. I’m making a point of not spoiling anything to do with the plot here, because that would be a crime, but I will say two things: What Kind of Mother contains the single most upsetting paragraph I’ve read this year, and I will never look at a crab the same way again. Am I being opaque? Sure. You’ll thank me.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 69 Test: What Kind of Mother.

--Marshal Zeringue